Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 1st Leg
St Johnstone1FK Trakai2

St Johnstone 1-2 FK Trakai

Saints keeper Zander Clark is unable to keep out Trakai's second goal
Saints keeper Zander Clark was unable to keep out a stunning strike from Trakai's Vaidotas Silenas

St Johnstone need to score at least twice in Lithuania next week after losing their Europa League first round qualifying home tie with FK Trakai.

The visitors took the lead when a clever dummy from the impressive Oscar Dorley set up Maksim Maksimov to net.

Defender Joe Shaughnessy headed home Liam Craig's corner to level but Trakai responded with a stunning long-range strike from Vaidotas Silenas.

Craig and Graham Cummins wasted chances as Saints failed to find an equaliser.

Trakai finished with 10 men as Silenas picked up a second yellow card with eight minutes left, but the visitors held on.

St Johnstone made a positive start but Trakai carved out the first opening in the seventh minute. A cross found Aliaksandr Bychanok, but his diving header went wide.

Trakai's Maksim Maksimov celebrates scoring the opening goal
Trakai's Maksim Maksimov celebrates scoring the opening goal

The Lithuanian side looked technically accomplished with 18-year-old Liberian Dorley causing Saints plenty of problems, and the visitors took the lead with a fine move in the 14th minute. A low cross into the box found Maksimov, who fired smartly past Zander Clark.

The hosts should have equalised when Blair Alston broke through the centre of the FK Trakai defence but he fired straight at the keeper. The rebound fell to Cummins, who had his first shot blocked before blazing his second over the bar.

Richard Foster's shot was diverted wide by Arunas Klimavicius, and from the resultant corner St Johnstone equalised, Shaughnessy heading home from close range into the corner.

But the joy for the home fans was short-lived as FK Trakai took the lead for a second time. A fantastic strike from Silenas from range flashed past Clark. The noise levels inside McDiarmid Park dipped once more.

St Johnstone celebrate Joe Shaughnessy's equaliser
Saunts celebrate Joe Shaughnessy's equaliser, but they missed several other chances

At the start of the second half Dorley played in Alma Wakili down the left hand side but he fired his shot well wide of the post.

Saints manager Tommy Wright brought on new signing Stefan Scougall in the hope of improving the levels of creativity from the home side.

His ball from the flank presented Craig with a great chance to equalise, but the midfielder volleyed his shot high over the crossbar.

Then an even better chance. From a poor Saints corner the ball fell fortuitously to the feet of Scougall. He lashed in a low shot which beat the keeper, but struck the post.

FK Trakai remained a danger, Clark saving well from Maksimov, but St Johnstone had further opportunities.

Alston burst through from midfield and engineered a chance at the edge of the box, but his shot was deflected wide.

From the resultant corner Saints had the ball in the net from another Shaughnessy header, but the referee blew his whistle for a foul on the keeper.

Silenas was sent off for a second bookable offence, but the home side could not capitalise.

Tommy Wright
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright believes his side are still in the tie despite a poor performance

Alston again created an opening and as the ball flashed across goal, it fell straight to Cummins, but from five yards out the striker's shot was too close to Trakai keeper Ignas Plukas, who blocked the ball with his trailing foot.

Post-match reaction:

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright: "Obviously, the result is disappointing. The second goal is criminal from us. It was a great finish but the ball should never get to him.

"We were sloppy at times in possession but I thought we created enough chances to get back in the game. But we probably didn't do enough over the 90 minutes.

"Every one of the teams in this competition are all probably technically better than us, that's why we can't allow them time on the ball. We didn't get in about them enough in the first half.

"We will have to be better in the second leg and I think we will be better. The two away goals is a huge advantage for them but I wouldn't rule us out."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 5ShaughnessyBooked at 54mins
  • 4Alston
  • 18PatonSubstituted forMillarat 63'minutes
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forScougallat 62'minutes
  • 29CumminsBooked at 38mins
  • 19Foster
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 51mins
  • 24B Easton
  • 26CraigSubstituted forKaneat 84'minutes
  • 28Gilchrist

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Tanser
  • 7Millar
  • 15Kerr
  • 21Scougall
  • 25Kane
  • 27Thomson

FK Trakai

  • 13Plukas
  • 15Janusevskis
  • 9MaksimovSubstituted forCesnauskisat 90+3'minutes
  • 21SilenasBooked at 82mins
  • 4Vorobjovas
  • 11DorleySubstituted forKrukat 90'minutes
  • 23Shyshka
  • 22WakiliSubstituted forCyzasat 81'minutes
  • 24Klimavicius
  • 77Bychenok
  • 33Borovskis

Substitutes

  • 1Sheremeta
  • 7Cesnauskis
  • 26Traore
  • 47Kruk
  • 49Cyzas
  • 50Marazas
  • 79Mamaev
Referee:
Fran Jovic
Attendance:
5,636

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fenerbahçe641186213
2Man Utd6402124812
3Feyenoord621337-47
4Zorya Luhansk602428-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nic640286212
2Olympiakos62227618
3BSC Young Boys62227438
4FC Astana6123511-65

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Saint-Étienne633085312
2Anderlecht6321168811
3Mainz 056231810-29
4FK Qabala6006514-90

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St P6501178915
2AZ Alkmaar6222610-48
3Maccabi Tel-Aviv621379-27
4Dundalk611458-34

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma6330167912
2Astra Giurgiu6222710-38
3Viktoria Plzen6132710-36
4Austria Vienna61231114-35

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk6402139412
2Ath Bilbao63121011-110
3Rapid Vienna613278-16
4Sassuolo6123911-25

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax6420116514
2Celta Vigo623110739
3Standard Liege61418627
4Panathinaikos6015313-101

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakt Donsk66002151618
2KAA Gent6222913-48
3Sporting Braga6132911-26
4Konyaspor6015212-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke650193615
2FK Krasnodar62138807
3FC RB Salzb62136607
4Nice6204511-66

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina6411156913
2PAOK Salonika631276110
3FK Qarabag6213712-57
4Slovan Liberec6114712-54

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague640286212
2Hapoel Be'er Sheva62226608
3Southampton62226428
4Inter Milan6204711-46

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor6312107310
2Villarreal62319819
3FC Zürich613257-26
4Steaua Buc613257-26
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